As the 2018 South African pecan harvest draws near the pecan growers in Hartswater, Upington, and Kimberly prepare for the largest pecan crop to ever come out of South Africa.
Pecans are not new to South Africa. In fact, during a recent visit I saw, several trees that were 60-70 years old according to the land owner. What is new to south Africa is the foreign buyer interest in the South African pecans. Like the rest of the pecan growers around the world, South African pecan growers have seen increased prices in pecans; and like other growers the south African pecan growers have responded with new pecan plantings across the country. The upcoming 2018 pecan crop should be another record pecan crop in South Africa. Expected to come in around 40 million pounds, this year’s crop will be the largest pecan crop ever to be produced by South Africa, if realized. The South African Pecan crop consist largely of Wichita, Choctaw and Barton. With many of the Wichita orchards young and just coming into production, a large portion of the Wichita are oversized (GCE:OVS) which are favored by the Asian markets. The crop is expected to be of good quality this year. Pecan prices have fallen slightly over the last month but with demand steady and limited supply available most pecan industry professionals expect prices to inch upward as the 2018 marketing season moves along.